Day of Reckoning for Lexington, Richland Candidates
Today voters will learn who will be on and off next month's party primary ballots.
Upwards of 50 candidates in Lexington and Richland counties could learn today they will be off next month's party primary ballots in the wake of Wednesday's state Supreme Court ruling.
About two-thirds of those candidates are expected to be in Lexington County, according to The State.
The court has given the state's Democratic and Republican parties until noon to list the affected candidates. In its ruling, the court said that candidates who failed to properly file required economic interest forms must be removed from the June 12 party primary ballots per state law.
As many as 100 candidates, most likely all challengers, could be affected statewide. Some political experts believe the number could be much higher.
The state election commission will post the updated list of qualified candidates sometime after noon Friday on its Web site.
Many affected candidates are expected to seek to remain in the race by becoming petition candidates, which will require them to gather the signatures of at least five percent of the registered voters in the area that their office covers. At least three Lexington candidates -- Democrat Walid Hakim, who is running for the District 88 House, Republican Clay Burkett, who is running for Lexington County Coroner, and state Senate GOP candidate Katrina Shealy -- have announced they plan to run as petition candidates.
The court's ruling will make life much harder for many challengers, and much easier for incumbents.
"… All three challengers to Lexington County Clerk of Court Beth Carrigg apparently are off the ballot —- though one of her challengers, Suzanne Moore, said she isn’t giving up. Other incumbents who previously had opposition but now may be running unopposed include Lexington County Council members Jim Kinard and Debbie Summers, Richland County Councilman Kelvin Washington, State Sens. Joel Lourie of Richland, Nikki Setzler of West Columbia and Jake Knotts of West Columbia and State Rep. Mac Toole of West Columbia," according to the newspaper report.